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Norway, balance between the coalitions

Easing the tax burden is one of the proposals that have enabled the center-to overcome Labor, but form the executive will be a difficult task



The appreciation towards Jens Stoltenberg seemed to have sheltered the Centre-Left from all the temptations offered to the Norwegians by the opposition, as the promise of easing the tax burden: things have turned out differently, more and more people have ascribed the economic prosperity enjoyed during the two terms of office (from 2005 to present) to events such as the new oil extractions in the Barents Sea or to the new reserves in the North Sea.

After eight years when the Labour Party (still in first place, retaining the thirty-one per cent of the votes) seemed to be back to its former identification with the state as in the fifteen years after World War II, on September 9th it was the turn of Conservatives (Høyre) to take over the government thanks to Erna Solberg, born 52 years ago in Bergen. The new leader reassures that the basics of the Nordic social model won’t be affected: “we are a liberal party, we do not make revolutions”.

In a country that keeps a growth of 2.5 per cent and an unemployment rate limited to 3 percent, everyone believes that healthcare and education should remain public, but impatience is growing about the tie that  binds the government to annually spend no more of 4 percent drawn from economic return of the sovereign wealth fund (that has now reached 750 billion dollars and that is devised to deliver to future generations a welfare comparable to the existing one). Showing different degrees of caution, Centre-Right’s political parties plan to use a larger portion of annual revenues of the fund to improve infrastructure, healthcare, public services and education.

Aldo Ciummo

Dubai sentence, unacceptable violation of human rights

The victim of the assault, a Norwegian citizen, was not protected by local institutions that on the contrary caused her imprisonment with a decision determined by religious conservativism

A worrying sign for Westerners that live in countries where the legislation is affected by the intervention of religious confessions has come from the injustice suffered by a Norwegian citizen, who after she has been a victim of violence in Dubai during a business trip (from Quatar where she worked) and having reported this to the local police, found herself sentenced to sixteen months in detention, due to the fact that Islamic laws of the United Arab Emirates do not protect the victims of violence, considering only men as witnesses.

The victim of this worrying story remains in a Norwegian center in Dubai, avoiding her so at least the detention (after the release agreed by the local authorities with the Oslo diplomacy) but what had happened is seriously disturbing for Westerners who work in similar contexts and describes what is the grave and unacceptable situation of women’s rights in many countries. Instead of being protected as a victim of violence, the Norwegian citizen has been accused of adultery.

There is a clear violation of the human rights by the local courts, conditioned by a reactionary interpretation of the Islamic religion. The incident has rightly drawn the attention of organizations of based in the UK and in other European states: people coming from the United Arab Emirates reveal (also following the case which is discussed) the intolerable situation of women in many Arab countries. The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Espen Barth Eide, underlined the extraneousness of this sentence to the principles of protection of human rights.

Aldo Ciummo

Presented the emerging cinema of Northern Europe

The exhibition “Nordic Film Fest” has proposed new Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish, and Icelandic movies

Once again, the most important event in Italy for the presentation of new Nordic movies was attended by a large audience at the Casa del Cinema in Villa Borghese. The purpose of the initiative is to promote in Italy the film culture of Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland.During the last years many new authors have emerged, which have increased the prestige of a popular tradition in the world. The event was organized by the Embassies of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, in collaboration with Iceland and with institutions for the promotion of cinema of their respective countries.

Many in Italy unreleased movies, documentaries, and films in original language with subtitles were presented during the event, introduced by directors, actors and producers. Among the guests there was also Mika Kaurismäki (brother of director Aki Kaurismäki, with whom he has directed several movies), which movie “North Road” (that won recently at the Toronto International film Festival) was screened during the festival.

Among the guests known to the Italian public, the opening day was introduced (on April the 5th, one week before the beginning of the event, which was organized from 11 to 14 April) by the Italian-Finnish actress and producer Anna Falchi while the Swedish actress Malin Buska, awarded with the “Rising Star” (Stockholm International Film Festival in 2011) talked about the movie “The King girl” directed by Mika Kaurismäki and dedicated to the life of Queen Christina of Sweden. The role played by Malin Buska was the one of Greta Garbo in the famous film of 1933, “Drottning Kristina” (screened on April the 13th).

Saturday night it was the turn of the Norwegian director Petter Næss with his movie “Into the White”, in which there is the presence of Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley in “Harry Potter”). The Norwegian movie tackles the difficult story of the pilots, allied and not, who fell in the Norwegian mountains during the Second World War, faced with a common opponent: the wilderness.

China Ahlander intervened in the debate, as the Swedish manufacturer of “Dying Eating Sleeping,” a film that paints a dramatic and unknown reality, that of immigration. It is not lack of Iceland (a country which is discussed more and more frequently, given the mounting evidence of rapprochement to the EU) represented in the Nordic Film Fest from the autobiographical movie “Mamma Gogo” directed by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, who was also nominated for an Oscar in 1992 for “Children of Nature”.

An important event within the event was the projection, April the 12th, of “Olof Palme”, a movie that takes its name from the Swedish prime minister assassinated in 1986, a politician who did very much for the convergence of socialdemocracy and the European policy for an equitable approach toward the Global South and the problems of different countries, which at the time seemed revolutionary. Even today Sweden is investigating the crime: along with the film’s director Kristina Lindström there was the author of the book “Olof Palme, life and assassination of a European socialist,” Aldo Garzia, with a comment by Walter Veltroni.

Aldo Ciummo

Presentato il cinema emergente nordeuropeo


La rassegna “Nordic Film Fest” ha proposto film inediti norvegesi, finlandesi, svedesi, danesi, islandesi

Anche quest’anno l’evento più importante del nuovo cinema nordico in Italia ha visto affollarsi alla Casa del Cinema di Villa Borghese un numeroso pubblico. Il fine della iniziativa è la promozione, nella penisola, della cultura cinematografica di Norvegia, Finlandia, Svezia, Danimarca ed Islanda.


Negli ultimi anni sono emersi molti nuovi autori (che hanno accresciuto il prestigio di una tradizione apprezzata nel mondo). La rassegna è stata organizzata dalle Ambasciate di Danimarca, Finlandia, Norvegia, Svezia, in collaborazione con l’Islanda e con gli Istituti per la promozione del cinema dei rispettivi paesi.


Sono stati presentati film inediti in Italia, documentari, proiezioni in lingua originale sottotitolati, introdotti dai registi, dagli attori e dai produttori. Tra gli ospiti di maggiore notorietà c’è stato Mika Kaurismäki (fratello del regista Aki Kaurismäki, assieme al quale ha diretto alcuni film) di cui è stato proiettato anche, nel corso della rassegna, il film “Road North” presente recentemente al Toronto International Film Festival.


Tra gli ospiti più conosciuti per il pubblico italiano, ha introdotto la giornata inaugurale (il 5 aprile, una settimana prima dell’inizio della rassegna che si è articolata dall’11 al 14 aprile) l’attrice e produttrice cinematografica italo-finlandese Anna Falchi, mentre l’attrice svedese Malin Buska, nominata “Rising Star” (al Festival Internazionale di Stoccolma nel 2011) ha parlato del film “The girl King” diretto da Mika Kaurismäki e dedicato alla vita della regina Cristina di Svezia. Il ruolo assunto da Malin Buska fu di Greta Garbo nella celebre pellicola del 1933, “Drottning Kristina” (riproposta il 13 aprile nel corso della rassegna).


Sabato sera è stata la volta del regista norvegese Petter Næss, suo il film “Into the White”, nel quale c’è una curiosità, la presenza di Rupert Grint (il Ron Weasley di “Harry Potter”). Il film norvegese affronta la difficile vicenda dei piloti, alleati e non, che precipitarono sulle montagne norvegesi durante il Secondo Conflitto Mondiale, trovandosi di fronte talvolta un avversario in comune: la natura selvaggia.


E’ intervenuta nel dibattito China Ahlander, produttrice svedese dI “Mangiare Morire Dormire”, film che dipinge una drammatica e sconosciuta realtà, quella dell’immigrazione. Non è mancata l’Islanda, (un paese di cui si parla sempre più frequentemente, date le crescenti prove di avvicinamento alla UE) rappresentata nel Nordic Film Fest dal film autobiografico “Mamma GòGò” del regista Fridrik Thor Friðriksson, il quale è stato anche candidato agli Oscar nel 1992 con la pellicola “Children of Nature”.


Un evento importante, all’interno della manifestazione, è stato la proiezione, il 12 aprile, di “Olof Palme”, film che prende il nome dal primo ministro svedese assassinato nel 1986, un politico che fece molto per l’avvicinamento delle socialdemocrazie e della politica europea al Sud del Mondo e per un approccio paritario ai problemi dei diversi paesi, il che all’epoca appariva rivoluzionario. Ancora oggi in Svezia si indaga su quel delitto: assieme alla regista del film Kristina Lindström è intervenuto l’autore del libro “Olof Palme, vita e assassinio di un socialista europeo”, Aldo Garzìa, con un commento di Walter Veltroni.


Aldo Ciummo

Sweden, main character at the Festival of Literature in Bologna

Many authors represented by publishers and the Swedish Institute, the Swedish Arts Council and the Swedish Institute for Children’s Book will be present at the event on the agenda at the end of March

The Festival of Literature in Bologna approaches in the debate on children’s literature, in the middle of an interesting season for the Swedish culture,  with Daniel Gustafsson Pech (The Swedish Institute), Susanne Bergstrom Larsson (The Swedish Arts Council) Asa Warnquist (Swedish Institute for Children’s Book) and the major publishing houses interested in the field represented by Annakaisa Danielsson (Alfabeta publishers/Agency), Lena Stjernström (Grand Agency), Kerstin Öberg (Rabén & Sjogren/Agency), Katharina Lantz (Natur & Kultur/Agency), Jeanna Eklund (Bonnier Carlsen / Agency), Marie Tomicic (Olika Publishers) which have already taken part in Rome to some appointments. After the presentation, which was held in Rome at the end of 2012, there will be in Bologna on the 25th March a huge presence of the Swedish publishing houses, with a large number of Swedish authors and initiatives organised by the Nordic country.

Sweden is in fact the guest of honor. On the occasion of the initiatives that were previously held in Rome, Eva Ottosson, project manager, presented the strengths of the Swedish literature in this area, while Susanne Bergström larrsson, the Swedish Arts Council and Pech Daniel Gustafsson (Swedish Institute) presented supports to the publication of Swedish literature in Italy. In the implementation of this project for the event 2013 in Bologna cooperate among the other the Swedish Institute, the Swedish Film Institute, Hamelin, Sala Borsa, START, Teater Testoni with projections and workshops.

Among the authors, Stefan Casta, Petrus Dahlin and Lars Johansson, Olof and Lena Landstrom, Pija Lindenbaum, Sara Lundberg and Ulf Stark, Frida Nilsson, Henrik Tamm, Anna-Clara Tidholm. They will also discuss the award “Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award” (Alma) in its tenth anniversary. The director of the award, Helen Sigeland, will present the international prize of literature for young people. For the year 2013 there will be two hundred and seven candidates coming from sixty-seven countries and the winner will be announced on the 26th March in Vimmerby, the birthplace of Astrid Lindgren. Asa Warnquist reported that “the number and the titles of the books are: Rabén & Sjogren, Egmont, Bonnier Carlsen, B/Wahlstroms.

In recent years, a significant phenomenon in the field has been and is the one of young female authors who write stories about fantasy worlds; then there is a literature for young people that explores the urban environment as an unknown universe. Other editorial experiments encourage readers accustomed to new technologies and investigate on alternative lifestyles. A clear trend is that of strong female characters, transformed into characters from the world of magic. Jeanna Eklund of the Bonnier Group recalled titles like “The Lasse Maja & Detective Agency,” written by Martin Widmark and illustrated by Helena Wills. The Swedish Arts Council (Kulturradet) is the government authority that supports, among other initiatives, the Swedish culture in the world, translating into any language works written in Sweden. The Swedish Institute cooperates with other institutions that represent Sweden abroad and universities.

Aldo Ciummo

Oslo, the city of architecture and design

Oslo has over fifty museums and galleries and has recently began to attract again the attention of enthusiasts of architecture, design and art

The Norwegian capital city has recently began to attract again the attention of enthusiasts of architecture, design and art, thanks to the opening of the contemporary museum “Astrup Fearnley” designed by the well-known Italian architect Renzo Piano. The signing of Piano is among other things also in the “Kulturpark”, the sculpture park near the exhibition space.

Oslo continues to evolve itself and the proximity of the Oslofjord and the islands (as well as the nearby hills and forests) makes it a city that can offer an unique scenery. Oslo has a large number of museums and galleries, including “the Munch Museum”, the “Viking Ship Museum”, the “Vigeland Museum”, together with the nearby “Vigeland Sculpture Park” and the “Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art”.

In the northern city there are many theaters as live music and sporting events, such as the “Holmenkollen Ski Festival” and the “Norway Cup”. The Opera House, opened in 2008, is an example of how contemporary architecture can communicate with the existing city and the natural environment, offering more options to enhance the free time of the inhabitants.

Oslo is also very popular for its variety of cafes and restaurants, conference facilities, and especially for the completeness and efficiency of its public transportation and its links to other Norwegian and international destinations. Anyone who is traveling in Germany, Sweden, Denmark, will find it very easy to get to Oslo.

The capital of Norway has a city center that it’s possible to walk through quickly thanks to the efficiency of the public transportation network and that makes it particularly enjoyable. The main street, Karl Johans gate, branches off from the railway Central Station and following it it’s possible to see the National Theatre and the Royal Palace.

Around this artery is easy to find museums, hotels, shops. The view of the city beyond the outline of the statue of Karl Johan or the reconstructed vessels near the Akershus Fortress is unforgettable. Different corners of the city offers surprises that come suddenly into view as the typical wooden houses.

If someone loves art, there’s just to spoilt for choice, because Oslo has over fifty museums, and much more galleries. Among these museums are the Kon-Tiki, the Fram Museum, the Ibsen Museum, the Norwegian Museum of cultural stories, the Nobel Peace Center, and the quaint ski museum, the Holmenkollen ski Jump.

Design and architecture are the two protagonists of Norway today and its capital, from the Opera House to the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, the last five years have seen a flowering of examples of Nordic creativity in this amazing city, where innovations have complemented by the existing architectural beauty.

All this has been successful in enhancing them through a particular development of new perspectives and a constant attention to the balance of the urban context. Holmenkollen for instance is one of the areas that was most affected by this artistic ferment applied to the city, with new works built during the skiing competitions.

 Aldo Ciummo


Oslo, città dell’archittettura e del design

La città di Oslo ha più di cinquanta musei e gallerie ed è tornata recentemente ad attirare l’attenzione degli appassionati di architettura, design ed arte

La capitale norvegese è tornata recentemente ad attirare l’attenzione degli appassionati di architettura, design ed arte, con l’entrata in attività del museo contemporaneo “Astrup Fearnley” disegnato da una nota firma, l’italiano Renzo Piano. La firma di Piano è tra l’altro anche nel “Kulturpark”, il parco delle sculture vicino alla spazio espositivo.

Oslo continua ad evolversi e la vicinanza con l’Oslofjord e con le isole (così come le vicine colline e foreste) ne fa una città che può offrire scenari unici. Oslo ha un grandissimo numero di musei e gallerie, tra cui “il Munch Museum”, il “Viking Ship Museum”, il “Vigeland Museum”, assieme al vicino “Vigeland Sculpture Park”, lo “Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art”.

Nella città nordica sono numerosi i teatri e non mancano musica dal vivo ed eventi sportivi, come lo “Holmenkollen Ski Festival” e la “Norway Cup”. L’Opera House, inaugurata nel 2008, è un esempio di come l’architettura contemporanea possa dialogare con la città preesistente e con l’ambiente naturale, offrendo in più possibilità di valorizzare il tempo libero.

Oslo è apprezzata anche per la varietà dei caffè e dei ristoranti, delle strutture per conferenze e soprattutto per la completezza ed efficienza dei collegamenti urbani e verso le altre destinazioni norvegesi ed internazionali. Chi viaggia in Germania, Svezia, Danimarca, troverà molto agevole raggiungere la capitale norvegese.

Oslo ha un centro cittadino che è possibile percorrere rapidamente grazie all’efficienza della rete dei trasporti e questo ne fa una città particolarmente godibile. La strada principale, la Karl Johans gate, si dirama dalla stazione centrale e percorrendola si possono visitare il Teatro Nazionale e il Palazzo Reale.

Attorno a questa arteria è facile trovare musei, hotel, negozi. E’indimenticabile la vista della città oltre la sagoma della statua di Karl Johan o dei vascelli ricostruiti vicino alla fortezza di Akershus. Angoli diversi della città offrono alla vista sorprese come le tipiche case di legno.

Se si è appassionati di arte si ha soltanto l’imbarazzo della scelta, perchè Oslo ha più di cinquanta musei, più le gallerie, tra questi musei ci sono il Kon-Tiki, il Fram Museum, l’Ibsen Museum, il Norwegian Museum of cultural stories, il Nobel Peace Center, e il caratteristico museo dello sci, l’Holmenkollen Ski Jump.

Il design e l’architettura sono i due protagonisti della Norvegia di oggi e della sua capitale, dall’Opera House all’Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, gli ultimi cinque anni hanno visto fiorire esempi della creatività nordica in questa città sorprendente, dove le novità si sonoaffiancate alle bellezze architettoniche esistenti riuscendo a valorizzarle attraverso una particolare elaborazione di nuove prospettive ed una costante attenzione all’equilibrio del contesto urbano. Holmenkollen è stata una delle aree più interessate da questo fermento artistico applicato alla città, con le nuove opere costruite in occasione delle competizioni sciistiche.

 Aldo Ciummo


Norway’s success at the Forniture Fair

Norwegian Companies have presented their ideas; attended the event ambassador Bjorn T. Grydeland and the secretary of state for Industry and Trade, Rikke Lind

The morning of April 19 Norway debuted at the Forniture Fair in Milan. Among the Exhibitors were HÅG, not only distinguished by innovative design, but also for sustainability obtained through the use of materials with a low environmental impact; Vàrier, specialized in ergonomics, for which Vàrier won the “Design Excellence” in Norway; LK Hjelle, known for the careful selection of materials; Røros Tweed, that produces wool fabrics for forniture, reinventing the classics of Norwegian tradition and bringing them closer to modern styles; Stordal, which has won awards such as Design Excellence and Design Award at the Meuble Paris; Fjord Fjesta, which starting from Molde, in the fjords, has brought in the whole world its offering of wood product.
Rikke Lind, Secretary of State at the Department of Industry and Trade, expressed his appreciation for the successful event inside the Furniture Fair, which took place in Milan from 17 to 22 of april (the stand was identified by the mark InsideNorway.no) stating that the initiative will prove very useful to further promote an industry that is already achieving remarkable results abroad, particularly in Italy: “companies that have participated represent really the variety and quality of ideas in the Norwegian furniture industry, I think that their attendance in this important event will give a new impulse to the vitality of the sector in Italy and I hope that the Norwegian companies represented will become even more numerous in future editions.
The initiative was sponsored by the Norwegian Council of Mobile (Norsk Industri), the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Italy, and was supported by Innovasjon Norge (Innovasjon Norway), government agency for the development of foreign trade, which is based in Milan and works very hard in Italy to strenghten the relationshio between economy and culture of the two countries.
On april 19, there was the Ambassador of Norway in Italy, Bjorn T. Grydeland, which together with Rikke Lind and other representative of the Norwegian organizations who participated also visited the exhibitions of the young designers and planners (see also NorwegianWay website, which is committed to the diffusion of the Norwegian Culture in Italy) at the satellite salon, where proposed their ideas Caroline Olsson, Sara Gressberg, Anneli Hoel Fjaerli (che hanno fondato la Fog Studio), Angell, Wyller, Aarseth, Runa Klock, Martin Solem.
Aldo Ciummo


Successo della Norvegia al salone del mobile

Le imprese norvegesi del settore hanno presentato le loro idee alla presenza dell’Ambasciatore Bjorn T.Grydeland ed al sottosegretario all’Industria ed al Commercio, Rikke Linde
Il 19 aprile, in mattinata, è stato presentato l’esordio norvegese al Salone del Mobile di Milano. Tra le aziende espositrici HÅG, caratterizzata non solo dal design innovativo, ma anche dalla sostenibilità attraverso l’utilizzo di materiali a basso impatto ambientale; Vàrier, specializzata nell’ergonomia per la quale ha vinto il “Design Excellence” in Norvegia; LK Hjelle, nota per la cura nella ricerca dei materiali; Røros Tweed, che realizza tessuti di lana per arredamento riproponendo classici della tradizione norvegese ed avvicinandoli agli stili moderni; Stordal, che ha ottenuto riconoscimenti come il Design Excellence in Norvegia ed il Design Award al Meuble Paris; Fjord Fiesta, che partendo da Molde, tra i fiordi, ha portato nel mondo le sue proposte in fatto di prodotti di legno.
Rikke Linde, la quale è sottosegretario al Ministero dell’Industria e del Commercio, ha espresso il suo apprezzamento per la riuscita dell’evento norvegese nel Salone del Mobile che si è tenuto a Milano dal 17 al 22 aprile (lo stand era identificato dal marchio InsideNorway.no), affermando che l’iniziativa si rivelerà molto utile per promuovere ulteriormente un settore che sta già ottenendo risultati notevoli nel nel mondo e in particolare in Italia: “Le aziende che hanno partecipato rappresentano davvero la varietà e la qualità delle idee norvegesi nell’industria del mobile, penso che la loro presenza in questo importante evento darà nuovo slancio alla vitalità del settore in Italia e spero che le imprese norvegesi rappresentate diventeranno ancora di più nelle prossime edizioni”.
L’iniziativa è stata patrocinata dal Consiglio del Mobile Norvegese (Norsk Industri), dalla reale Ambasciata di Norvegia in Italia ed ha avuto il supporto di Innovasjon Norge (Innovation Norway), agenzia governativa per lo sviluppo del commercio estero che ha sede a Milano e che da anni si impegna molto ed in Italia per rafforzare il rapporto tra l’economia e la cultura dei due paesi.
Il 19 aprile era presente l’ambasciatore di Norvegia in Italia, Bjorn T.Grydeland, che assieme a Rikke Lind ed agli altri rappresentanti delle organizzazioni norvegesi intervenuti ha visitato anche l’esposizione dei giovani designer e progettisti (ne parla molto il sito di NorwegianWay, impegnato da tempo nella diffusione della cultura norvegese in Italia) al Salone Satellite, dove hanno proposto le loro idee Caroline Olsson, Sara Gressberg, Anneli Hoel Fjaerli (che hanno fondato la Fog Studio), Angell, Wyller, Aarseth, Runa Klock, Martin Solem.
Aldo Ciummo


Norwegian Enterprises at the Forniture Fair in Milan

A representative of the Norwegian Government, state secretary of Industry Rikke Lind will attend the event
Norwegian Enterprises invest on International Forniture Fair in Milano, at the opening of the Norwegian pavillon Thursday, april 19, will be present the Norwegian ambassador, Bjorn Grydeland; Director of the “Furniture Norwegian Board” (Norsk Industri) Egil Sundet, of the representative of the Norwegian Cabinet: state secretary of Industry and Trade, Rikke Lind.
Norway, with his direct participation in the initiative that is taking place in Milan, underlines the internationalization project that the Norwegian forniture industry intends to pursue.
The events’ brand is InsideNorway.no, a symbol that identifies the nordic country’s production abroad, the most representative companies will be six: HAG, Vàrier, LK Hjelle, Roros Tweed, Stordal, Fjord Fiesta.
The event is sponsored by the Norwegian Board of Forniture (Norsk Industri), by the Royal Embassy of Norway, by Innovation Norge, government agency for the development of Foreign Trade.
Aldo Ciummo